This is awesome news! I can already see many others being able to network a lot easier without the added hassle or even having to pay fees to attend a non-descriptive event, hosted by someone or some company they aren’t familiar with… just for networking’s sake.
Similar to Facebook’s functionality for events, this new feature should be quite familiar to most that have used it already over at Facebook. It’s all pretty straightforward… create an event, add pertinent details such as the location, time and description, then invite friends/co-workers/prospects (that you’re connected to on LinkedIn), and finally hit the ‘Post’ button. And we would imagine there will be privacy settings that would allow/disallow the public to join your event.
Also similar to Facebook, users will be able to mark themselves as attending or otherwise. Conveniently, events that you’re invited to will appear on the same screen that you currently receive connection requests on. Seamless and simple.
Another cool feature is being able to ‘pre-game’ and chat with others that have also marked themselves as attending, all before the event has even started! What a way to garner some cool points beforehand.
According to LinkedIn product manager Ashu Dubey, “We have seen behavior where people are using the platform to organize meet-ups and they will add a bunch of folks to the comments and tag them and those folks will in turn invite more”.
I foresee that this will probably even cut down on the outgoing traffic to sites such as Meetup, which was possibly filling this gap before this new implementation. It only makes sense to keep everything in a single place logically.
This also appears to be building on past events that LinkedIn has taken to further align itself with being the leader of social media for professionals. The last feature was the implementation of video filters similar to the ones that Snapchat uses. These features were also used in conjunction with live events that happen in, you guessed it, the real world.
The only drawback, for now, is that this is only going to be piloted in the New York and San Francisco areas. We’re not currently sure how long this is going to be this way. Either way this definitely should be a great feature that should see lots of usage.